2015 Volume 61 Issue 1 Pages 58-65
Purpose: This study investigated the shape of bone grafts and associations with upper limb function over the long term after free vascularized fibular head graft (FVFHG) for reconstruction of the proximal humerus after wide resection for bone sarcoma.
Methods: Patients comprised 3 women who had undergone FVFHG at least 5 years previously. Age at surgery was 12 years in 2 cases and 76 years in one. The mean follow-up periods were 10 years 4 months. Evaluated parameters comprised: 1) graft hypertrophy, and 2) shape of the fibular head as changes in shape of the bone graft; and 3) ISOLS score, and 4) DASH score as indicators of upper limb function.
Results: Rates of graft hypertrophy of the fibular shaft were −14%, −17%, and −20%, respectively, with transverse diameter decreasing in all cases. In terms of changes in shape of the grafted fibular head, transverse diameter had diminished in 2 patients (−5 mm and −2 mm), and the head had been completely resorbed in the remaining patient. Both patients in whom the fibular head remained were young, and both had good ISOLS scores >80% and good DASH scores of 5.0 and 8.3. The patient in whom the fibular head had been resorbed was elderly, with ISOLS and DASH scores of 73.3% and 34.2, respectively; comparatively poor compared with the other two. A comparison of ISOLS and DASH scores before and after fibular head resorption, however, showed no deterioration in either score.
Conclusions: Long-term follow-up of humerus reconstruction by FVFHG showed no deterioration in upper limb function despite the risk of fibular head resorption. FVFHG of the proximal humerus is a reconstruction technique that can provide good long-term upper limb function.